British Telecommunications today (Nov. 23) unveiled a 10-year partnership with U.K. media software developer Blueprint to create two digital music distribution platforms. The B2B systems, Open Royalty

British Telecommunications today (Nov. 23) unveiled a 10-year partnership with U.K. media software developer Blueprint to create two digital music distribution platforms. The B2B systems, Open Royalty Gateway (ORG) and Song Center, are targeted at copyright owners and distributors.

Robbie Williams and his London-based management company IE Music have applied ORG to launch a retail store at robbiewilliams.com. The store went live in time for the Nov. 26 digital release of his single "Misunderstood." Australian music retail chain Sanity will launch an ORG-powered digital store early next year.

Blueprint founder and CEO Richard Bron says ORG enables copyright holders and distributors to deposit, control, manage and deliver content via any digital device. ORG uses BT's Mediahive hosting platform, one of the world's biggest media hubs that monitors international TV broadcasts and can store up to 1 billion music tracks.

"The consumer can then share files and send them to friends, who can also choose to buy the songs," he says.

The content owner can use ORG to control pricing, sales tracking and royalty reporting. The platform uses Microsoft Corp.'s Janus, the Windows Media digital rights management 10 software, to encrypt tracks, videos and other related content before they are uploaded online.

The Song Center platform enables retailers to offer online customers a more rewarding experience. This can include combining in-store, online and mobile music sales, or a reward scheme giving customers credit points for any friend who buys a recommended track.

Blueprint says it earns its revenue by charging a share of each transaction.

BT's previous forays into digital music have included Dotmusic, the online site it sold to Yahoo! Europe in 2003, and BTringtones.com.

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